Introducing Atlanta’s Newest Ghost Tour & Halloween Roundup
It’s spooky season, folks! As we round the corner into October I find myself greatly anticipating the joy of all things autumn. And yes, that means pumpkin pie and apple cider, but this month it also means scary movies, creative costumes, and – let’s be honest – way too much candy.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Megan Hodgkiss about an exciting addition to the Atlanta Halloween festivities: the debut of the Little 5 Points Ghost Tour. Hodgkiss has been instrumental in the formation of this tour, both by conducting extensive research and interviews about the area, compiling the ghost stories, on-boarding guides, and planning the event itself.
Hodgkiss first became associated with the Little 5 Points Ghost Tour in March of 2021 when she participated in the Atlanta Preservation Center’s ‘Phoenix Flies’ walking tour of Little 5 Points. There she met the Little 5 Points Business Association President Kelly Stocks and the two began talking about the potential of hosting guided ghost tours in the area this fall. “I said that I’d love to help and be involved — and the rest is history!” said Hodgkiss. “I’m so excited to be a part of the first annual Little 5 Points Ghost Tour.”
In her research, she discovered a number of stories about the apparitions in the area. Notable mentions include a mischievous spirit who attempts to thwart performances at 7 Stages, a beloved fallen cop who died tragically in the area and is remembered by the naming of the plaza in his honor, and a runaway teenage girl who was killed amidst a wild party at Georgia’s first pagan congregation, the House of Ravenwood. The mile-long tour lasts for about 1.5 hours and tours begin at 7PM and 9PM.
Photos by Isadora Pennington
Hodgkiss has a distinct affinity for haunted tours, and that knowledge has aided her in developing the Little 5 Points Ghost Tours. Her favorite haunted tours include those in Savannah, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. “And now, I can add Little 5 Points to that list.“ Throughout the month of October, so-called “spirit guides” will lead groups through the historic neighborhood and lend unique insight to the colorful characters who linger long beyond their dying breath.
Learn more and register for a tour by visiting the website.
Atlanta has a ton of fun and unique Halloween offerings. Whether you want the full fright experience, something more kid-friendly, or just an opportunity to dress up and have drinks with friends, there’s a little something for everyone.
Below are some of my favorite Halloween events. Enjoy… if you dare!
Woodland Spirits at Fernbank Museum
Inspired by literature’s portrayal of dark forests, this all-ages Halloween activity features ghostly figures and sculptures, lurking spirits, a “monster garden,” and more sprinkled throughout the 10 acres of Wildwood Forest. Nature lovers can learn about nocturnal creatures and night-blooming plants during a special Nocturnal Activity: Life After Dark activity. You can expect to hear about bats, owls, scorpions, opossums, racoons, moths, and more. Learn more at the Fernbank Website.
Additional special themed days at Fernbank include:
Creepy Crawlies, all about bugs! October 16, 10AM to 1PM
Bugs, Bats & Bones, Halloween classics. October 23, 10AM to 1PM
Dinosaur Trick-or-Treat, because, of course! Costumes encouraged. October 30, 10AM to 1PM
Decatur Ghost Tours
While this ghostly adventure is technically available year-round, there’s just something extra spooky about this time of year, don’t you think? The highly rated Decatur Ghost Tour is led by professional psychic medium and paranormal investigator Boo Newell. “Decatur’s dead are pretty restless” reads the website, and numerous reviews shared online describe personal encounters for those embarking on the ghost tours. Lasting approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, the walking tour is about one mile of paved sidewalks. Go for a tour, if you dare. More information and tickets available on their website.
Trunk or Treat at Brook Run Park
Food trucks, candy, and costumes, all set to the tunes of an Elton John tribute band will take over Brook Run Park in Dunwoody on October 28 from 5PM to 8PM. This free event is open to the public, so come out in your Halloween best and enjoy a fun afternoon perfect for the whole family.
The Center for Puppetry Arts Presents The Ghastly Dreadfuls
Combining ghost stories, grim humor, catchy tunes, and a spooky aesthetic, the puppet masters will perform a range of stories and content from silly to serious. Billed as “vaudeville-esque humor, horror and hijinx, a reminder of what has always made Halloween so creepy and fun,” this event is both creepy and funny. Note, proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend this event. See dates, book tickets, and learn more here.
Also at the Center for Puppetry Arts, A Monster Mash!
Come in costume and decorate goblins, jack-o-lanters, and skeletons. Starting October 30 at 10AM, this event is suitable for kids aged 6-10.
Spooky Mill at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve
The beautiful natural surrounds of the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve will be transformed to a fun-for-all Halloween party on October 30. Attractions include a bouncy house, carnival games, crafts, pumpkin painting, and a haunted hike. “Junior Spooky” is from 1PM to 4PM, while “Ooky Spooky” will take place from 6PM to 9PM. Given all the ruins and historic buildings on the property, you might just have a supernatural experience of your own! Learn more on the Autrey Mill website.
Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park
An Atlanta-area fall favorite, visitors can enjoy live shows, spooky displays, classic storybook characters, a pie eating contest, and park attractions such as the Great Locomotive Chase, Adventure Golf, and the Scenic Railroad. Once night falls, the park will debut a brand new Nighttime Parade and, you guessed it, a Pumpkin Lasershow. Learn more here.
Get Your Fright on At Netherworld
Is there anyone in Atlanta who isn’t familiar with Netherworld? This haunted house returns year after year to provide some of the best jump scares and bone-chilling horror in the area. In Rise of the Netherspawn, ancient creatures enlist an army of shadow figures deep in the caverns to terrify and taunt visitors who dare enter this nightmare world. If classic haunted houses aren’t your jam, take it up a notch with their new 3D experience where you will explore a top-secret facility full of monsters. If you think you can handle it, check out their website for more information and tickets.
Attend an Actual Séance at the Wren’s Nest
Yes, you read that right. At 8PM on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of October, a psychic medium will conduct an actual séance in an attempt to speak with the dead. This family-friendly event also features a “spirited” mystery show. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Boo at the Zoo
One of Atlanta’s most treasured Halloween festivities, Boo at the Zoo returns to Zoo Atlanta with costumes, crafts, dance parties, games, trick or treating, and of course plenty of fun animal sightings. Come in costume and experience a one-of-a-kind Halloween event in “Zoo Boo Town.” Buy tickets at the Zoo Atlanta website.
Little 5 Points Monsterfest
In lieu of the hallowed Halloween Parade, cancelled this year due to COVID, Little 5 Points is hosting a unique Monsterfest on October 16-17. Visitors can pick up a map to hunt for monsters in the area in a unique monster hunt created by none other than the monster man himself, Shane Morton, also known as Professor Morte. There will also be a haunted market with more than 60 vendors on Euclid, a costume contest, and pop up performances. Learn more here.
Candlelight Halloween Concerts at the Trolley Barn
Classical music lovers will adore this open air performance by the Listesto String Quartet at the historic Trolley Barn in Inman Park. Playing renditions of classic Halloween tunes such as “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and even the Ghostbusters theme, this event offers a unique melding of classical music stylings and popular Halloween music. Multiple dates, go online for more info.
Halloween in the Highlands
This 21+ event features bar hopping, a costume contest with $1000 top prize, specials, complimentary shots, DJs, and live music spread throughout more than 10 locations in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood. While there are plenty of Halloween-themed bar hops, this exclusive party will take place on October 26 and lasts until 2AM. Don’t wait, this event sells out every year and attracts 1000s of party goers dressed up in their best Halloween garb. Learn more and buy tickets today while you still can.
Goblins in the Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens has put together a day of fun and festivities throughout their beautifully manicured grounds on October 24 from 10AM to 4PM. Show off your costumes on the Goblin Runway, enjoy traditional Mexican dances performed by Alma Mexicana (bring a blanket!), decorate pumpkins, and ride on both a pony AND a train! More information can be found on the Atlanta Botanical Gardens website.
Legends and Lore Tour at Rhodes Hall
One of Atlanta’s most haunted locales, Rhodes Hall was built in 1904 and has been a hotbed of paranormal activity for many years. Returning by popular demand, the Legends and Lore tour offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the chills and thrills of the “Castle on Peachtree” after dark. Rhodes Hall has been the subject of many paranormal investigations and haunted walking tours of Atlanta. Multiple tour times, October 27-29. More info & tickets can be found here.
36th Annual Halloween Hike at the Chattahoochee Nature Center
On October 22, 23, 29, and 30, from 6 to 9PM, the Chattahoochee Nature Center is offering a guided night hike that features music, crafts, campfire, and other non-scary Halloween fun. Advanced tickets are required, and arrive early to ensure your spot on the hike. Visit the Chattahoochee Nature Center website to learn more.
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland
Historic tours of the Oakland Cemetery are one of Atlanta’s most beloved annual traditions. Returning for its 15th year, this October’s programs bring to life the stories of the cemetery’s most notorious occupants in an after-dark tour. Intended to “enlighten rather than frighten,” these tours are led by costumed docents who will show you around the sprawling cemetery where you will see actors portraying the residents who are buried there. Guests will also be able to enjoy music and are encouraged to arrive in their best costumes to fully embrace the holiday spirit. VIP tickets include a 3-course meal at the nearby Firepit Pizza Tavern. More info here.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Presents The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sit back and enjoy Tim Burton’s Halloween classic film with a live musical scoring performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). With showtimes on October 29 and 30, this event offers an immersive and powerful experience for lovers of the symphony and this popular Halloween movie. Costumes encouraged! Learn more on the ASO website.
Originally written for Homestead Stories
Halloween events 2021 Atlanta Halloween 2021 Little 5 Points Ghost Tour